SWEET SIXTEEN BOUND pic.twitter.com/o6M9XyGBUK
— FSU Men's Hoops (@FSUHoops) March 19, 2018
Trailing by 12 points in the second half, the Florida State Seminoles rallied to stun the top-seeded Xavier Musketeers 75-70 on Sunday night in second-round play at Nashville in the NCAA Tournament’s West Region.
The Musketeers, holding a two-point lead at halftime, built it to 58-46 over the No. 9 Seminoles with 9:50 remaining.
With 5:37 left, they were still up by nine at 66-57 when the tide started to turn in Florida State’s favor.
From there, the Seminoles outscored the Musketeers 18-4 the rest of the way, earning a ticket to play in Los Angeles in the Sweet 16.
PJ Savoy hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 68 seconds left to give Florida State its first lead in the second half.
With the loss, Xavier became the second No. 1 seed to fall in the first week of the tournament.
The Musketeers followed the Virginia Cavaliers, who made history Friday night as the first No. 1 to lose in the Round of 64.
UMBC recorded a 74-54 victory over Virginia in the South Region that seemed to set the stage for a rash of upsets over the next few days.
By Sunday night, Florida State got into the act with a stirring finish against Xavier.
With the victory, the Seminoles will meet the No. 4 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs in one of two semifinals Thursday at the Staples Center in L.A.
In the other, it will be the third-seeded Michigan Wolverines against the No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies.
The winner of the regional finals on Saturday will earn a trip to the Final Four at the Alamodome from March 31-April 2.
Round of 32 at a glance
y-(9) Kansas State beat (16) UMBC, 50-43
x-(5) Kentucky beat (13) Buffalo, 95-75
x-(11) Loyola-Chicago beat (3) Tennessee, 63-62
y-(7) Nevada beat (2) Cincinnati, 75-73
(Winners play in Atlanta on Thursday. Finals are Saturday)
y-(9) Florida State beat (1) Xavier, 75-70
x-(4) Gonzaga beat (5) Ohio State, 90-84
x-(3) Michigan beat (6) Houston, 64-63
y-(7) Texas A&M beat (2) North Carolina, 86-65
(Winners play in Los Angeles on Thursday. Finals are Saturday).
x-(1) Villanova beat (9) Alabama, 81-58
(5) West Virginia beat (13) Marshall, 94-71
x-(3) Texas Tech beat (6) Florida, 69-66
y-(2) Purdue beat (10) Butler, 76-73
(Winners play in Boston on Friday. Finals are Sunday, March 25).
x-(1) Kansas beat (8) Seton Hall, 83-79
y-(5) Clemson beat (4) Auburn, 84-53
y-(11) Syracuse beat (3) Michigan State, 55-53
x-(2) Duke beat (7) Rhode Island, 87-62
(Winners play in Omaha, Neb., on Friday. Finals are Sunday, March 25).